Head Coverings

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blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
This morning I watched a very good video/sermon called "The Parable of the Sower - The Ground" by Rev. John Greer. One thing that caught my attention as the camera man scanned the congregation from time-to-time was that all the women, young and old, wore head coverings. I've never been in a church where more than a handful of ladies wore hats, so that caught my attention. I was wondering:

1. Is it common practice in reformed churches for ladies to wear a head covering? How prevelant is it?

2. Why do women wear head coverings? How does it bring dishonor to their husbands if they do?

3. 1 Cor 11 says for a man not to a wear head covering (in church) because it dishonors his head (Christ)? How does it bring dishonor?

4. Unrelated to head covering, but its bugging me. At the beginning of the video, the congregation is singing Psalm 24 to a well known hymn melody, but I can't for the life of me remember the name of the hymn. Anybody know which hymn tune they sang Psalm 24 to?

1Co 11:4-7 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
 

Chadft

Puritan Board Freshman
Certainly an interesting and controversial topic. Sometimes I wonder if these exhortations like this of Paul are merely addressed as a matter of opinion and not by commandment of the Lord
See 1Co. 7:6,10,12,25 and 40 for what appears to be a distinction between Paul's advice and the Lord's commandment
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
I think a church would be on thin ice to insist that a covering is commanded for women. While it is not impossible for important teaching to be given in only one or a few places in scripture, it is extremely rare. However, if a woman as a matter of conscience wishes to do so, she should certainly not be discouraged.

What's always been a caution to me on this subject is that the New Testament almost never gives us an easy do-this-and-you-are-righteous external commandment. It would be so easy to slam a hat on my head and say, "see, I'm in submission." But where is my heart? What is my attitude? I hate to admit how often it is lousy, and a hat won't help matters at all! It would only give an external show, like the fella praying or fasting for all to see.
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
Chadft, two things:

1) You may want to re-evaluate the "not I, but the Lord" references by Paul from 1 Corinthians 7. Paul is not giving "opinion" or "advice"; he is addressing an issue that was not specifically spoken of by the Lord Jesus (i.e., desertion as grounds for divorce). Since desertion as a biblical ground for divorce is a confessional position (e.g., WCF 24:6), we need to take Paul's words a little more earnestly than that.

2) You need to include a signature with your posts (I see it is your first one!). Click on the link in my signature below to see the PB rules on signatures. And enjoy your stay on the PB!
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
What's always been a caution to me on this subject is that the New Testament almost never gives us an easy do-this-and-you-are-righteous external commandment. It would be so easy to slam a hat on my head and say, "see, I'm in submission." But where is my heart? What is my attitude? I hate to admit how often it is lousy, and a hat won't help matters at all! It would only give an external show, like the fella praying or fasting for all to see.

Why would you say that. Are we not also instructed to dress modestly?

For women to adorn themselves not with ....etc.

Should we not obey these either because you could judge them just to be doing it outwardly?

In fact it is the opposite. We obey outwardly because we love the Lord and want to please Him. We keep His commands because we love.

Those who can easily throw off the commands and teaching of scripture and follow it casually would concern me, not those who obey carefully.

1 John 5:2-3
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
NKJV
James 2:14
What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him?
NASB

James 2:17-18
17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
NASB

1 Tim 2:9-12
9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.
NKJV
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
Certainly an interesting and controversial topic. Sometimes I wonder if these exhortations like this of Paul are merely addressed as a matter of opinion and not by commandment of the Lord
See 1Co. 7:6,10,12,25 and 40 for what appears to be a distinction between Paul's advice and the Lord's commandment
Thanks for your comment, and welcome!
 

pepper

Puritan Board Freshman
While I was in seminary I saw one paper against making it a command and one for making it a command. In the context where Paul deals with it he does say that long hair is the covering God gives women. I have seen churches were they enforce wearing hats but many of the women have what I call short hair. I too believe we must be careful with our dogmatic statements. It is interesting that the London Confession does not deal with this subject.
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
It would be so easy to slam a hat on my head and say, "see, I'm in submission." But where is my heart? What is my attitude? I hate to admit how often it is lousy, and a hat won't help matters at all! It would only give an external show, like the fella praying or fasting for all to see.
Those are excellent questions to ask ourselves for all aspects of worship.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
It is interesting that the London Confession does not deal with this subject.

It may not be a matter of Salvation of of fellowship, so not Confessional, but that does not mean it is unimportant or that they disagreed with the teaching of scripture.

Confession is to unite us in agreement on those things most central that we must agree on to have fraternal relations.

At least originally.
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
This has been discussed many times in the past and even recently. You may wish to use the search engine to look up those threads as this is a hot button topic.

Yes, there are women that cover within Reformed churches and some Reformed churches that even require it. But the majority do not currently and some Reformed women have been practically ostracized for obeying this Scriptural command.
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
It is interesting that the London Confession does not deal with this subject.

It may not be a matter of Salvation of of fellowship, so not Confessional, but that does not mean it is unimportant or that they disagreed with the teaching of scripture.

Confession is to unite us in agreement on those things most central that we must agree on to have fraternal relations.

At least originally.
It does seem important if not doing it dishonors the head. In what way does a woman not wearing a hat in church (for argument's sake, the husband isn't convinced its necessary) bring dishonor to her husband?
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
This has been discussed many times in the past and even recently. You may wish to use the search engine to look up those threads as this is a hot button topic.
Thanks, will do. Funny, I've been on the PB for a number of years, and I don't recall seeing any of those threads.
Yes, there are women that cover within Reformed churches and some Reformed churches that even require it. But the majority do not currently and some Reformed women have been practically ostracized for obeying this Scriptural command.
That's a real shame.
 

Chadft

Puritan Board Freshman
The women in my church also are encouraged to speak.
Sorry I couldn't resist please forgive me.

34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
(1Co*14:34-35*KJV)
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
At least originally.
It does seem important if not doing it dishonors the head. In what way does a woman not wearing a hat in church (for argument's sake, the husband isn't convinced its necessary) bring dishonor to her husband?

Good question

As long as he does not forbid it she should do it.

It dishonors her head before God and the angels because He says it does.

The fact our society has lost much of their sense of conscience is no excuse for us to follow the world.

In the church at least, she has been given one covering by God, long hair, because HE says so, and He has said to wear a covering that keeps the long hair from flinging about, as the word indicates.

The Long hair is glorious, and therefore can be a distraction too.

Some women keep their hair covered whenever out in public, so it is only for their husband.

I would think most men would not want their wife to wear a heavily exposing low cut top either when out in front of other men.

Modesty
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
I'd check out these past threads.

This one discusses why some women cover: http://www.puritanboard.com/f121/simple-explanation-headcovering-40515/
Thanks for finding the thread.

While I read it, I thought I'd throw out a question. To what extent, if at all, is it a cultural thing? I'd heard that one reason the woman was to put a hat on back then was to differentiate herself from pagan temple prostitutes who easily identifiable because they had shaved heads. Does the change in culture change anything about this issue?
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
Does it sound like the reasons he gives are cultural or God's order by creation and because of the angels. ???

1 Cor 11:6-10
7 For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9 for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake. 10 Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.
NASB
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
Moderator Reminder:

This is one of those threads that generates greatly passionate responses from both sides. Let's make sure we are kind in our comments to one another.

:judge:
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
I'd check out these past threads.

This one discusses why some women cover: http://www.puritanboard.com/f121/simple-explanation-headcovering-40515/
Thanks for finding the thread.

While I read it, I thought I'd throw out a question. To what extent, if at all, is it a cultural thing? I'd heard that one reason the woman was to put a hat on back then was to differentiate herself from pagan temple prostitutes who easily identifiable because they had shaved heads. Does the change in culture change anything about this issue?

The culture may only change the style and manner a covering is worn...but the command TO cover is not cultural whatsoever.

(style/manner...tiechel, scarf, snood, colours, material used, the manner in which one ties it, etc)
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
I'd check out these past threads.

This one discusses why some women cover: http://www.puritanboard.com/f121/simple-explanation-headcovering-40515/
Thanks for finding the thread.

While I read it, I thought I'd throw out a question. To what extent, if at all, is it a cultural thing? I'd heard that one reason the woman was to put a hat on back then was to differentiate herself from pagan temple prostitutes who easily identifiable because they had shaved heads. Does the change in culture change anything about this issue?

The culture may only change the style and manner a covering is worn...but the command TO cover is not cultural whatsoever.

(style/manner...tiechel, scarf, snood, colours, the manner in which one ties it, etc)

This is a very important observation. If one plays the "it's cultural" card, then one must give clear exegetical reasons why this passage is cultural, and the ones preceding and following are not. One must clearly establish why it is cultural. One must also show where the line ends in this book. It's easy to just say, "Oh, we don't have to do this because it's cultural." But if this command is for today then we are snubbing God.

I've wrestled with this quite a bit over the years, and still haven't landed firmly. But I am more and more persuaded that it is a biblical command with clear principles that reveal our relationship with our Creator. As one dear sister pointed out in one of our previous threads, it's a privilege and honor to wear head coverings to the glory of God. We must make sure that we clearly understand the principle Paul is teaching before we debunk a command that can clearly help us grow in Christ, and proclaim Him to those who witness our testimony.
 

Chadft

Puritan Board Freshman
The Lord Jesus didn't appear to be shocked or offended at either of these occasions. It's interesting who was offended though.

37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
(Luk*7:37-38*KJV)

3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. (Joh 12:3 KJV)
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
Was she praying or prophesying? Was it in church?

It does say women can speak at home.

The context is how to behave in the public worship
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
The Lord Jesus didn't appear to be shocked or offended at either of these occasions. It's interesting who was offended though.

37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
(Luk*7:37-38*KJV)

3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. (Joh 12:3 KJV)

Note, she put herself in a lowly position altogether. She had her hair uncovered, a symbol of one shamed. Otherwise, this passage has nothing to do with covering or not covering.
 

Chadft

Puritan Board Freshman
[
Note, she put herself in a lowly position altogether. She had her hair uncovered, a symbol of one shamed. Otherwise, this passage has nothing to do with covering or not covering.[/QUOTE]

Yet they (two separate occasions) were worshipping they were the only ones there that were... and Jesus found great value in that

12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.
13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.
(Mat*26:12-13*KJV)
 
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